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Division of Consumer Affairs
Press Release

Attorney General
Anne Milgram
Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
David Szuchman
For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2009
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Countrywide Mailing Settlement Notices to 887 Eligible New Jersey Borrowers

NEWARK – Countrywide Financial Corporation (“Countrywide”) today is mailing settlement offers to 887 borrowers in New Jersey who lost their homes to foreclosure. These borrowers are eligible for settlement payments under terms of national settlement that Countrywide reached with Attorney General Anne Milgram and Attorneys General from 39 other states.

Countrywide will offer each eligible New Jersey borrower a minimum settlement payment of $3,011. The exact amount to be paid will depend on how many of the 887 eligible borrowers opt into the settlement. The settlement letters include detailed information about the program and how to contact Countrywide’s claims administrator with questions.

"These settlement payouts are important, because they provide some degree of recompense to borrowers who were signed to inappropriate or bad loans and, ultimately, suffered financial harm,” Attorney General Milgram said. “The Countrywide settlement is just one part of the comprehensive effort we have undertaken to help distressed borrowers during these difficult financial times.”

The Office of the Attorney General has filed a total of 11 civil mortgage fraud complaints since June 2008 naming 102 individual and corporate defendants, affecting more than 950 victims and property worth more than $29.1 million. The state has also obtained indictments or guilty pleas in seven criminal mortgage fraud cases involving a total of 10 defendants who were charged with victimizing close to 60 individuals and banks in connection with loans worth nearly $11 million.

Borrowers meeting the criteria listed below are eligible to receive a settlement payment from Countrywide:

  • The loan was made by Countrywide;
  • The loan was secured by an owner-occupied property;
  • The first payment on the loan was due between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007; and
  • The Borrower lost the property securing the loan through foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or a short sale on or before March 31, 2009.

Eligible borrowers will be required to provide Countrywide with a release in exchange for a settlement payment. Additionally, they must respond to Countrywide’s claims administrator, Rust Consulting, by September 23, 2009. Borrowers with any questions about the release are encouraged to speak with a lawyer. They can also contact Rust Consulting at 1-866-411-6987 or via if they have questions.

Under the multi-state settlement, Countrywide also agreed to specific loan modification programs and agreed to change its mortgage lending practices to closely monitor borrowers having trouble making their loan payments.

Assistant Attorney General James J. Savage represented New Jersey in the settlement process with Countrywide.


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